The Texas Railroad Commission unanimously agreed to tighten waste water disposal well regulations Tuesday in an effort to prevent drilling induced earthquakes.
The commission can now force operators to turn over records of the amount of water injected into disposal wells and the downhole pressure of wells, the Dallas Morning News said.
The revised rules also strengthen the commission’s ability to limit the amount of water injected into a well and shut down drilling sites if the commission suspects a well is causing seismic activity.
Companies are also now required to check with the U.S. Geological Survey for any records of earthquakes within 100 miles of a proposed well site and must also prove to the commission that injected fluids will be contained to the approved geological areas.
“These comprehensive rule amendments will allow us to further examine seismic activity in Texas and gain an understanding of how human activity may impact seismic activity, while continuing to allow for the important development of our energy resources in Texas,” commissioner David Porter said.